Monthly Archives: August 2009

Run Time vs. Life Time

This weekend I read a short post in the New York Times called The Economics of Running and it sparked some thought.

All things have an opportunity cost. While you’re at working late during the week to rock it, that’s time you’re not spending with your family and friends. While you spend time with family and friends, it’s time you’re not spending getting in that long run on Sunday. You lose the opportunity to engage in many things when focused on one.

So the question becomes understanding what holds greater importance in your life, and how to balance it with those that are more trivial. Sound easy? Hell no. It is hard.

work-life-run balance

work-life-run balance

All of a sudden usually after a month of good runs, as in right about now, things in my life become more prominent in my mind than getting a run in. Running almost becomes a roadblock to get to the next activity. I go through phases of love/hate with the guy (the guy, is running). I develop a lust for the feeling of pushing myself for miles and the burn in my legs and chest. And then the lust turns into “I guess I still kinda like you” and then “Please stop calling me”. For example, the past 3 weekends have been full of all-nighters, brunches, and friend and family time. Not running.

Dear Running,

I still love you, but I’m not in love with you. I hope you understand and we can still be friends. It’s not you, it’s me.

All my best,

Mel

I recently wrote about the challenges of balancing my running routine with life (here and here). Mind you, I’m only running 3-4 miles a day, not 15 miles like a marathoner in training (the difference of 40 minutes vs. 2 hours). In the beginning of the summer I was hitting the road almost everyday as a mandatory activity, but lately, it is just not as appealing.

Can running coexist with the ebb and flow of life? Of course. I just can’t seem (aka don’t want to) to balance both perfectly  right now, and I’m accepting it.

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Beat the Morning Darkness

August is coming to an end, which means the sunrise is slowly moving back. It’s so freakin’ hard to jump out of bed in the morning when it’s still dark out!

I fight the morning darkness every fall and winter (I’m a superhero) and get my ass out the door to run. There are a few tricks I’ve developed over the years to make this a less painful and more heroic experience.

morning super hero

yes i can!

Tips to get up & out before sunrise:

  • As soon as your alarm goes off, turn on the light. The longer you linger in bed and let the dimness sink in, the more glazed you’ll get and decide to screw the workout and go back to sleep for another hour (I’m guilty).
  • Get your workout gear ready the night before and set it out near your bed. It’s like an invisible boyfriend waiting for you in the morning. Don’t disappoint him.
  • Put on some tunes. Music will help wake you up and get your head in the zone. If you share a room with with your significant other just throw on your headphones.
  • Coffee.
  • Try to put yourself in the mindset of how you’ll feel post-run (happy and fulfilled).

Bring it on autumn.

We Are How We Move

I’ve been reading alot about the primal lifestyle philosophy and came across a photo of these identical twins named Otto on the right and Ewald on the left. These men have the same genetic makeup, yet look very different:

otto and ewald

Both brothers were athletes within the track and field realm. So why is Ewald slammin’ but Otto’s slackin’? Otto was a distance runner… and Ewald competed in field events like shotput.

This case really illustrates that our bodies are defined by how we use them. Honestly it scared the shit out of me, because I do not want to be lame Mr. Otto. So I decided to focus a lot more on strength training and cross-training moving forward to bring my inner-Ewald out (inner-Ewald.. we all have one).

I changed up my morning workout today due to this inspiration:

  • run .5 miles to the track
  • 4×200 sprints with 200m recovery in between
  • 2×8 sets of push-ups (girl style)
  • 2×20 bicycle crunches
  • repeat steps 3-5
  • run .5 miles home

This kicked my ass harder than my normal 3 mile morning run. I will be sore tomorrow. Glory. Let’s call this the Ewald challenge.

7:30pm in Union Square, NYC

brass band dancing

brass band dancing

photo shoot

photo shoot

speed chess

speed chess

henna tattoos

henna tattoos

Listening to my Body

This morning’s run let me know that I might be getting sick again. Nooooo!

I passed out cold last night at 10pm, and woke up without an alarm at 6:08am. Love when that happens; natural awakenings feel so much better than abusive alarm clocks.

My initial plan was to run 3.2 miles, but once I got out on the road I felt an intensity in my lungs that wasn’t right. The feeling was similar to the sensation of your first run after getting over a cough. Besides my insides (the most important part?) my body felt strong.

I didn’t want to push the distance since I knew something was off, so I cut the 3.2 miles a little short and ran a 2.9 mile loop here. On the way back I felt really good, and my pace was definitely faster than usual. I like being able to feel improvement.

In coffee news:

On my way walk to the L train this morning, I stopped at Variety for a cup of coffee, and came across a new take on sugar; vanilla bean infused simple syrup (sugar water). This is the straight up way to add vanilla to coffee.vanilla syrup for coffee

Pretty cool. And tasty.

Monday Runday

This weekend contained a lot of events and instead of making sure I got my long runs in, I made sure to do the summer right and get my butt to every party. I had a hell of a time at an engagement party, suffered a hell of a hangover, and then completed a day of apartment cleaning and quality friend hanging.

So my miles are down, but my good times are up!

slide 'n slide.. for real

slide 'n slide.. for real

I did get out there this morning thankfully, and took it easy on myself (mostly because I was scared that I lost it all) and ran a 2.6 mile loop here. I rocked it, and felt strong the whole way. Sweet. I will attempt to re-focus this week.. don’t attempt mel, do it!.. and get back up into the high 3’s, low 4’s in the morning.

Go Green Movement in Brooklyn

Morning confrontation: On my way to a local coffee shop Al Biet this morning, I passed a couple of kids urging me to shop at the deli next door between the hours of 11am-4pm.

Brooklyn Shakers

Why are you accosting me before I’ve had coffee? 

The movement: Help a local mom & pop shop move towards sustainability. Everything bought during the allotted window goes to a Go Green fund that will allow the location to green itself starting with its operational platforms all the way to the products offered. The more money raised = more opportunity for positive change.

go green on bedford ave

Brooklyn readers: Hit up Bedford Deli & Grocery today between 11am-4pm to help them green their business. One small local effort, part of a larger global initiative.

Bedford Deli and Grocery

Rock on.